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September 16, 2007 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Anti-Piracy agents MediaDefender have 700MiB of juicy internal emails leaked on BitTorrent; are in trouble.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (83 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
epic fail!
posted by Mach5 at 9:35 AM on September 16, 2007


It's sleazy, but I don't think it's illegal.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:36 AM on September 16, 2007


Sad and pathetic. Both sides. If people involved with a company like this decided to hack the EFF and release all of their internal memos, the screams would fly from coast coast, decrying the ruthlessness of their opponents. People call pirates lawbreakers and thieves, they do no good by showing themselves able to sink down to those levels.

I expect skulduggery from the likes of the RIAA et al. Their main source of revenue gets smaller every year, and the copyfighter crowd keeps calling for their head on a plate. A giant corporate organization will fight dirty when they think there existence is threatened. Doesn't make it right, but it's to be expected.

In the end, this shit isn't about copyright, or the free flow of information, it's another round of rah-rah, fight the power bullshit that won't do a damn thing to realize the goal of a society where art and cultural media are easily given to all for personal use and creative expression, but it feels really good.
posted by zabuni at 9:51 AM on September 16, 2007


Couldn't happen to a more honest and forthright group of fellows. The contempt for their customers expressed in some of these emails is pretty hilarious/sad/expected.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:51 AM on September 16, 2007


It's hard to believe that such a slimy, subversive anti-piracy project was taken down with a simple domain registration check.
posted by phaedon at 9:53 AM on September 16, 2007


What's a good text editor to view a 700 meg text file with?
posted by bunnytricks at 9:54 AM on September 16, 2007


Sad and pathetic. Both sides. If people involved with a company like this decided to hack the EFF and release all of their internal memos, the screams would fly from coast coast, decrying the ruthlessness of their opponents. People call pirates lawbreakers and thieves, they do no good by showing themselves able to sink down to those levels.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Seriously, I don't think the EFF would like their internal conversations leaked to the world, but somehow I don't get the feeling they have anything like this to hide.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:02 AM on September 16, 2007


It's hard to believe that such a slimy, subversive anti-piracy project was taken down with a simple domain registration check.

These just aren't bright people, it's as simple as that.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:03 AM on September 16, 2007


Bunnytricks: The archive is in standard mailbox format, so you can just import it into your own e-mail client as a new mailbox and go from there.
posted by dansdata at 10:04 AM on September 16, 2007


What's a good text editor to view a 700 meg text file with?

vim - right here
posted by pyramid termite at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2007


MiB.

That is, 700 Mebibytes.

I realize that people like to be specific for no reason, but given the absurdity of that term, I really think MB, or megabytes, is OK to say.

I mean 700 meg is obviously a rough estimate anyway, and "about 700 megabytes" is pretty much the exact same thing as "about 700 mebibytes"

(I personally SI prefixes should be used in all cases, with a disclaimer if unnecessary)
posted by delmoi at 10:20 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


As an aside, it turns out the CRIA (Cdn Recording Industry Assoc), having successfully stolen a ton of money through their stupid CD/DVD/iPod/etc surcharges, wants the goobermint to stop the surcharges...

...because it turns out that by charging us, they've given us the right to make copies. Even copies of copies. Music sharing is, in Canada, apparently wholly and completely legal, so long as it's coming off a surcharged storage medium.

Heh. Suck my balls, CRIA.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2007


I so should have posted this right after it hit.

I keep worrying whatever I come up with won't be a good FP post...
posted by Samizdata at 10:21 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


(upon further reflection, I now feel that yobibyte is cooler a cooler term then yottabyte. But that's the only one)
posted by delmoi at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2007


Amazing. I'm actually heartened that corporate types are so fucking stupid. Check out the Wikipedia talk page for MediaDefender for more evidence.

These paid shills start editing the article with disclaimers like "ANYONE WHO VIEWS THE EMAILS IS COMMITTING MULTIPLE FELONIES. DO NOT VIEW THE EMAILS. YOU WILL BE PROSECUTED". They cany't even see how retarded and transparent they look. How do people like that reproduce?
posted by Avenger at 10:23 AM on September 16, 2007


Sad and pathetic. Both sides. If people involved with a company like this decided to hack the EFF and release all of their internal memos, the screams would fly from coast coast, decrying the ruthlessness of their opponents.

Well, people would bitch and moan, but so what? Frankly, I'd be shocked if the EFF could be hacked, they seem like the kind of people who take security pretty seriously.

If people are doing things morally repugnant, then it's good to expose them. If people are not doing things that are morally repugnant, then exposing them is annoying, but ultimately pointless.
posted by delmoi at 10:32 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


The contempt for their customers expressed in some of these emails is pretty hilarious/sad/expected.

Like this one:
From: Randy Saaf
Sent: Wed 11-Apr-07 21:24
To: Jay Mairs; Ben Grodsky; Ty Heath; Ivan Kwok; Ben Ebert
Subject: Fw: .edu filtering

Team

Universal is curiouse if we have any historical data over the last 3 months that show whether .edu IP addresses on p2p have gone down.

They want to see if their lawsuits are getting students to stop using p2p (take a moment to laugh to yourself).

Let me know if anyone has any ideas.

R

—– Original Message —–
From: Benjamin, David
To: Randy Saaf
Sent: Wed Apr 11 18:11:50 2007
Subject: .edu filtering

How are you doing with this?
Thanks
db
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on September 16, 2007


I don't get it. Their anti-piracy master plan was to offer a video upload service, and then bust the uploaders? How is that not entrapment?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:42 AM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Haha, I looked through the edits:

On September 14, 2007, thousands of the company's internal emails were stolen. The people who stole these emails are guilty of many state and federal crimes, including identity theft and invasion of privacy. Additionally, because these emails included confidential emails with government officials, the illegal actions may also constitute breaches of national and state security not involving copyright protection. People who continue to download and disseminate this information may be liable for additional crimes.

Like I said, these aren't bright people.

The shill accounts don't have user pages, so I decided to at least help one of them out with something bare bones: User:legalprof .

Now, let's see if any of them are smart enough to figure out they have a user page and how to edit it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:43 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love some of the exchange unfolding between legalprof and others at the Wikipedia talk page (to which Avenger linked above):
User_talk:LegalProf - User also attempted to delete this section.

FYI...My actions have merely been to delete the links to the illegally obtain emails, which contain extensive private and confidential information about MediaDefender employees. I have also provided information for people who may not be aware of the possible legal repercussions involved in disseminating these emails. I do not intend to delete the discussion section as I believe that an accurate and valid discussion of the issues is a good thing. So, I encourage everyone to continue the discussion with the link to these emails (as well as any personal information about the employees) left out. -- Legalprof

California law is not the world. It doesn't apply to the whole internet. -- 76.173.116.174

True. California law does not necessarily apply to the whole world. However, MediaDefender is a California corporation and the MediaDefender employees are California citizens. As a result, California has jurisdiction over these acts. --Legalprof

I'm a lawyer. I do muti-jurisdictional corporate law. That "legal" argument about jurisdiction holds about as much water as my sock. If you think you can prove the novel proposition of law that you've just put forth, then why don't you trot it out in a court of law and see how long your imaginary horse can dance. Until then, stop vandalizing the wikipedia entry. You're full of crap, you shill. -- 68.36.190.76
posted by ericb at 10:55 AM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


Good thinking TheOnlyCoolTim.

I can't be arsed to find/download/read the emails myself, but feel free to share any more interesting emails you guys find. I love when this kind of stuff happens.

Delmoi: If people are doing things morally repugnant, then it's good to expose them. If people are not doing things that are morally repugnant, then exposing them is annoying, but ultimately pointless.

Quoted for truth.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 10:56 AM on September 16, 2007


I don't get it. Their anti-piracy master plan was to offer a video upload service, and then bust the uploaders? How is that not entrapment?

IANAL, but I don't think it's entrapment if it's a private company. Just like how it's not entrapment when PervertedJustice/Dateline does it's thing, I guess. (That might be a bad example, since shockingly few of the 'caught' predators end up getting convicted)

But the rules are definitely different for police and private citizens. I think.
posted by delmoi at 10:57 AM on September 16, 2007


How is that not entrapment?

I think the definition of entrapment involves some form of coercion to commit an illegal act. If an undercover cop asks to buy some drugs and you sell them drugs that is apparently ok. If an undercover cop threatens you in a direct or implied way w/ some sort of harm unless you sell them some drugs, that is entrapment. I think entrapment means that you were placed in an unwilling either/or situation which doesn't seem to be the case here.
posted by well_balanced at 11:12 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Was some snark about "meg" needlessly deleted because it looks like delmoi is replying to something that is now a gaping hole in the thread.

"meg" was common nomenclature from my /<-rad hax0r BBS days, as in "shit, I have to clear out 2 meg of space on my drive to download Civilization, hope it's worth it."

I couldn't simply import the mbox file into Thunderbird thanks to its broken "wizards" so I converted the monstrosity to eml format with mbox2eml. And as for vim, I regard my memories of trying to use vi similarly to how molestation victims feel about their encounters. Let me forget the whole ordeal and move on with my life.
posted by bunnytricks at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2007


From: Ben Grodsky
To: Octavio Herrera; Randy Saaf
Cc: Jay Mairs
Sent: Mon Jul 23 19:53:29 2007
Subject: Atty Gen'l NY and Ares

We started pushing out some WMV files for RK Net media (porn) on ares and 0.6% (1 in 173) people downloading our porn decoys on ares are from the State of NY according to google analytics. Combine this fact with what we filter out of MiiVi and there may be something very interesting we could do to help NY's Atty Gen'l. Just an idea....
posted by bunnytricks at 11:28 AM on September 16, 2007


Just an idea....

That just made me download my very first torrent client.
posted by phaedon at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


more attorney general connections...

From: Jay Mairs
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2007 6:24 PM
To: Ben Grodsky; Ivan Kwok
Subject: File viewing tool

I forgot that Brad at the NY AG asked for a tool to help open a file with a particular filename. Can you guys think about it for a little bit before you talk to him tomorrow? I just don't want you to be caught off-guard if he brings it up.


Thanks,
Jay
posted by bunnytricks at 11:40 AM on September 16, 2007


phaedon writes "That just made me download my very first torrent client."

Hell yeah, fucking blackmailers hiding behind the pretense of defending kids and whatever. Who defends kids from people like them ?
posted by elpapacito at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2007


more attorney general connections...

Well I'm sure glad theres no more terrorism or organized crime in the world so the NY AG can spend time and resources on the deadly criminals who downloaded "The Simpsons" movie and live Goldfrapp concerts.

/pukes
posted by Avenger at 11:44 AM on September 16, 2007


someone is currently hosting all the emails in HTML format here:
http://jrwr.hopto.org/
So now you can look at them from behind a proxy, and not worry about anyone logging your IP. =]

view then while you can!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 11:49 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


You're going to bomb that poor guy's connection like a giant DDOS. What the heck are you thinking?
posted by IronLizard at 12:00 PM on September 16, 2007


it's already been slashdotted.....
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:06 PM on September 16, 2007


he posted the link himself, to the slashdot thread. Thought about it, took the page offline, thought about it some more, and then put it back up.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:11 PM on September 16, 2007



If people are doing things morally repugnant, then it's good to expose them. If people are not doing things that are morally repugnant, then exposing them is annoying, but ultimately pointless.


The ends justify the means? I'm all for exposing the immoral conduct, but I'd prefer it not be done through illegal means. Even if they are immoral idiots.

Granted, I hadn't read the actual content of the mails. According to the posters above, they basically tried to blackmail people in government, among other fun things. Hacking seems minor in comparison.
posted by zabuni at 12:16 PM on September 16, 2007


This is a beautiful trickle down tag-team brought to you by corporate America.

You're talking about entertainment companies, hiring third parties to collect data on individuals, and providing said data to the attorney general, who in his own way, has an opportunity to capitalize on the criminalization of his constituency, and in doing so, increases his political capital. The idea that the companies that host this content should not be held more liable than the individuals that use it, of course, goes unchallenged. You see, no one is pressuring the AG to shut down those companies. Too many big business dollars would be lost, many of which go back to the government through taxes, donations, and the like. But prosecute the individual, and you generate money - and more importantly, fear - out of thin air.
posted by phaedon at 12:32 PM on September 16, 2007 [6 favorites]


I fully support this action. What we have here is essentially a war between MediaDefender and its targets; they are simply taking actions to defend themselves. The reasons for theft ring quite true:

“By releasing these emails we hope to secure the privacy and personal integrity of all peer-to-peer users. The emails contains information about the various tactics and technical solutions for tracking p2p users, and disrupt p2p services,” and “A special thanks to Jay Maris, for circumventing there entire email-security by forwarding all your emails to your gmail account”

MediaDefender's business is almost exclusively sleazy. What they are engaging in is, to me, an invasion of privacy, and if we have to invade theirs to defend our own, so be it.
posted by mek at 12:39 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


How do people like that reproduce?

They don't, actually, but their wives have little difficulty making them think they do.
posted by jamjam at 12:45 PM on September 16, 2007 [10 favorites]


If an undercover cop asks to buy some drugs and you sell them drugs that is apparently ok.

I hope somebody who knows for sure answers this, but to my understanding, that is a clear-cut case of entrapment. If you offer drugs to the cop, it's not entrapment. If he asks for them, it is.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:50 PM on September 16, 2007


(re: the drugs derail, it's way more complicated than that, because drug deals are rarely explicit... needless to say the law isn't on the drug dealer's side)

BT sites are already using the leaked emails to filter out all of MD's operations.

MDD (the hacker group responsible) is now releasing recorded phone conversations and promises more. Not going to link that as it's even more illegal (when it's not Gonzales doing the wiretapping, amirite?!?).
posted by mek at 1:03 PM on September 16, 2007


This warms my heart.
posted by Evstar at 1:15 PM on September 16, 2007


Not going to link that as it's even more illegal (when it's not Gonzales doing the wiretapping, amirite?!?).

Ya u r rite!!!!!11

Seriously, recorded phone conversations? That some next-level hacking right there. Either that, or they must have someone on the inside, which would be epic A+++++ lulz.
posted by Avenger at 1:16 PM on September 16, 2007


Little do the hackers suspect, thus is just the ultimate piracy honeypot and everyone who downloads it is gunna get busted.
posted by scodger at 1:22 PM on September 16, 2007


they must have someone on the inside

That was my first assumption.

When a company that most nerds hate leaks data, I'd say it's practically certain that a guy in their own IT department did the deed.

It'd be very difficult for MediaDefender to hire a sysadmin who wouldn't end up feeling like a Jewish guy working for the Klan.
posted by dansdata at 1:24 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Too many big business dollars would be lost, many of which go back to the government through taxes, donations, and the like.

I agree with your post, except that big business tends to not pay taxes. It's just bribes, basically. At least taxes could maybe pay for some social services or something (if they wouldn't just get shipped right to Iraq.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2007


The idea that the companies that host this content should not be held more liable than the individuals that use it, of course, goes unchallenged.

Very good point. In this case it certainly appears that a private company, Media Defender, set-up MiiVi, seeking to get people to "illegally" upload/download copyrighted digital works -- all for the purpose of passing along information about "infringing" individuals to industry associations (MPAA, etc.) which would then seek criminal indictments against these folks for illegal activity. The MPAA appears to have sought a "one-off" position, by contracting "honeypot" activity to third-parties -- all for plausible deniability, in the event that these methods/tactics were ever discovered.

My analogy may fail on some of its merits, but I can't help but play it out in my mind: What about my forming a private company (not sponsored and/or endorsed by any official law-enforcement or government entity) that has leased "real-world" space and offers "massage/ prostitution" services that I promote on a website -- all with the intent of enticing people to show-up and "be serviced?" For those who show up, I pass along all online communication, photographs of license plates taken in the parking lot and video surveillance photos of them entering the premises (and maybe video footage of their "massages")? Such smacks of vigilante justice.

phaedon's concept of "trickle down tag-team brought to you by corporate America" seems apt here.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on September 16, 2007


they don't have anybody on the inside. what apparently happened, one of the guys "jay maris or mairs" ported all his company email to his personal gmail account. he created an account at one of the p2p sites he was investigating, using his gmail account as the email contact and the very same password for both the gmail account and the p2p account, which password was "blahbob". great job there, brownie.
posted by bruce at 1:45 PM on September 16, 2007 [8 favorites]


This is why your corporate IT department is always harping on document retention policies.
posted by smackfu at 2:01 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


MDD (the hacker group responsible) is now releasing recorded phone conversations and promises more.

Seriously, recorded phone conversations? That some next-level hacking right there. Either that, or they must have someone on the inside...


MediaDefender Phone Call and Gnutella Tracking Database Leaked
“The leak of MediaDefender’s emails caused quite some controversy, Ironically, in a recently leaked phone call, a New York attorney and MediaDefender discuss the security of their email-server. Whilst there is some initial confusion as to where the leak may have originated, they eventually write it off as some technical problem.

The leaked phone call shows that they are unsure about their network protection, their IDS etc. One of the parties is on a VOIP connection which may explain how the leak was obtained.

Similar to the e-mail leak, a group called ‘MediaDefender-Defenders’ released the file, and in the .nfo file we read:
MediaDefender-Defenders proudly presents some more internal MediaDefender stuff… more will follow when time is ready. MediaDefender thinks they’ve shut out their internals from us. Thats what they think.
The subject of the call is rather serious. MediaDefender is apparently involved in an ongoing Child Porn investigation. Their job is to identify child-porn images and report the IPs of the offending computers back to the government. A tricky project since it would mean that they actually have to download and rate the illegal content.

This wont be the end of the leaks according to the ‘MediaDefender-Defenders’, they claim that more will follow when time is ready.

In addition the the phone call, a huge MySQL database dump from a MediaDefender server was leaked on BitTorrent as well. The database shows tracking and decoy file information for the Gnutella network which is used by P2P clients such as LimeWire.

All this leaked information is a huge blow for MediaDefender, and it will undoubtedly cost them a lot of time and money to clean this up. Interestingly, no evidence can be found that MediaDefender is actually involved in prosecuting or gathering evidence against filesharers (as we reported earlier). Their core business is releasing fake files and polluting the filesharing networks.”
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2007


Kirth Gerson writes "I hope somebody who knows for sure answers this, but to my understanding, that is a clear-cut case of entrapment. If you offer drugs to the cop, it's not entrapment. If he asks for them, it is."

I don't think that's entrapment either. It's entrapment when agents of the government induce a person, whether by bribes or coercion, to commit a crime that they wouldn't have otherwise committed.

So if your hypothetical drug dealer would have sold to Joe Public, and a cop asks to score and succeeds, that's perfectly non-problematic.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:11 PM on September 16, 2007


Such smacks of vigilante justice.

I think the only way your prostitution scenario would work is if there was some huge amount of money to be made in the curtailment of prostitution. You would need money to set up the office, hidden cameras, survelliance teams, hire the "massuses" and so on. You probably wouldn't be able to do it unless you we're independently wealthy or someone was paying a huge bounty on every "John" caught in the act.

Or, you could take the To Catch a Predator route and have all your costs defrayed by selling commercial time. If you think about it, TCAP is basically "Privatized Pedophile Sting Operation: Brought to you by Colgate!"

On the other hand, there is a huge amount of money to be made in the curtailment of p2p networks, both on the corporate side (music industry/hollywood profits) and the government side (bribes, "gifts", "corporate grants", "lobbying", earmarked congressional funding resulting from said "lobbying", etc.).

We're entering an interesting time in our nation's history: a time when our military/police/security apparatus becomes a sort of glorified collection agency on behalf of our corporate aristocrats.
posted by Avenger at 2:13 PM on September 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


Here's a transcript of the intercepted phone call.

MD - OK, so we can do that, we can change the login, obviously the password, you know, if you guys need to know what password we're using we could just communicate that by phone, and I think the email isn't really an issue as long as we don't really say anything particularly sensitive in the emails.

AT - Right.

MD - You know, and, we're pretty available by phone, so, if guys are comfortable with just communicating with us by phone and anything that's really really sensitive we could just communicate in this fashion. I know it's a little bit cumbersome...


Funny. What's not so funny is the idea that p2p trackers go try out your account password against your submitted email account.
posted by whir at 2:26 PM on September 16, 2007


On entrapment, from here:
Even though someone may have [sold drugs], as charged by the government, if it was the result of entrapment then he is not guilty. Government agents entrapped him if three things occurred:

- First, the idea for committing the crime came from the government agents and not from the person accused of the crime.

- Second, the government agents then persuaded or talked the person into committing the crime. Simply giving him the opportunity to commit the crime is not the same as persuading him to commit the crime.

- And third, the person was not ready and willing to commit the crime before the government agents spoke with him.

On the issue of entrapment the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was not entrapped by government agents.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:31 PM on September 16, 2007


Funny. What's not so funny is the idea that p2p trackers go try out your account password against your submitted email account.
posted by whir at 2:26 PM on September 16 [+] [!]


Anyone who uses the same password for their email, and for a site they gave their email to, is an idiot. You shouldn't trust anyone with that information... but least of all pirates, certainly.
posted by mek at 2:39 PM on September 16, 2007


*changes password from blahbob to password*

I agree with you, but it still seems a little ruder than I would expect, somehow. Most of the torrent sites have a nominally community-oriented feel to them (though I'm not saying it's anything more than that).
posted by whir at 2:43 PM on September 16, 2007


Apparently, this includes an Excel file listing all the devs identity info. SSN / DOB / etc.

D'oh.
posted by smackfu at 3:00 PM on September 16, 2007


The new economy certainly is creating some exciting new job opportunities:

Henry Wang
Leak Analyst | MediaDefender, Inc.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:11 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


he posted the link himself, to the slashdot thread. Thought about it, took the page offline, thought about it some more, and then put it back up.

Oh well, he asked for it then. DDOS away.
posted by IronLizard at 4:06 PM on September 16, 2007


MiB = Men in Black?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:00 PM on September 16, 2007


that phone call is up on http://jrwr.hopto.org/ now too....
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2007


Some funny and some of their thoughts on entrapment;

Title: Re: New digg article
You should read the comments these guys are idioits...

care in interviewing
Given all the recent Digg, SlashDot and derivative online articles about MD, be careful what you say in job interviews. Specifically, I'm concerned about giving any information BEYOND what's already on the mediadefender.com website. I'm worried about someone interviewing for a position just for the purpose of getting more info to post online. For example, if anyone asks anything about MiiVi, just reiterate what Randy has said online (it was an internal video project that we probably should have password protected; we were in no way directed to, or working with, the MPAA on that project; NO part of the project was a honeypot designed to trap downloaders).

RE: really...harvard law???
hahaha! definitely a weak article.

the best argument against miivi is one for invasion of privacy and trespass to chattels (doing stuff intentionally to another's property). that would be based on the rumor that we scanner people's harddrives.

entrapment isn't possible, as we're not a law enforcement agency or working as agents for a law enforcement agency.


DataCenter A, packet loss
DataCenter A is experiencing high packet loss. Please look into it.


Thanks,

-Ivan



The last one is also the final message.
posted by phoque at 5:34 PM on September 16, 2007


FOR GREAT JUSTICE!
posted by CautionToTheWind at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2007


I yam full-on into pirating porn.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:05 PM on September 16, 2007


*tin foil hat on*

You have a company who's business is to upload fake torrents- with "alternate" content: And that same company is working with law inforcement to filter thru their data to find people dowloading child porn and "illegal sex:" If they can make someone who thinks they're downloading a Korn video download a beastiality video instead, what's to stop them from slipping some child porn in there, and reporting them? Especially now that they have a score to settle with the pirates.

Also- I find it really creepy that the feds are apparently paying a private company to surf child porn. I wonder how they chose which one of them would get stuck with that job? 1.2.3. Not It!

*tin foil hat off*
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 6:30 PM on September 16, 2007 [3 favorites]


Damn, TechnoLustLuddite

I didn't understand that one so I just lazily let it go thru to the 'keeper - to use the cricket vernacular.

I thought it was a metaphor.

So let's say it is a video. How do you know MediaDefender substituted it for a music mashup with what was said?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:55 PM on September 16, 2007


I yam full-on into pirating porn.

You should look at this then.
posted by puke & cry at 6:57 PM on September 16, 2007


@uncanny hengeman: I'm not sure i understand your question. MD's job is to upload "bad" files so that bit torrent downloaders will get frustrated and give up. The download might get stuck at 98% and never finish, or it will contain glitches so that it's unlistenable. In other cases, like that first quote i posted above, the content will be totally different from what was expected. If that email is true, then someone who was expecting to download a korn vs. slipknot mashup video got to see a woman fucking a dog instead. (which i'm sure is illegal in some places?)

They also use the data for marketing purposes. In some of the emails between MD and record comanies, the RIAA asks MD what tracks are hot in the P2P world, so they know what singles to push!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:25 PM on September 16, 2007


TechnoLustLuddite

When he said he "flagged it as a terms of use violation" I assumed that to mean a random punter uploaded / downloaded / whatevered it using their site, and that the employee flagged it as being against the rules.

I didn't pick up that MediaDefender actually put the file there.

Still a good pick up. I can't believe I thought it was a metaphor. I read "big bushy dog" = "elephant in the room"!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:03 PM on September 16, 2007


The funny part overall about browsing through those e-mails is that they're trying to "protect" maybe six albums (generally complete crap for people who still listen to radio) at a time per Giant Music Conglomerate and tend to completely fail. As in apparently they consistently have zero effectiveness (maybe even completely blocked?) on Pirate Bay, Mininova, and Demonoid, to name some big sites. Basically, any site with any form of moderation or comments they fail, as one would expect.

They also were planning to go to the UCLA and Harvey Mudd job fairs. I really hope they do, that should create some laughs.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:14 PM on September 16, 2007


Hooold on just a moment here.

They started a download service to entice people to upload their stuff to it, so they could then nail them on copyright infringement?

In other words, people are breaking the law by sending them their own IP?

How is that even a crime?!
posted by JHarris at 8:44 PM on September 16, 2007


Ars Technica's most recent article on this kerfuffle: Leaked Media Defender e-mails reveal secret government project.
posted by ericb at 8:47 PM on September 16, 2007


"The e-mails contain information about the personal life of MediaDefender employees as well. One particularly ironic example can be found in an e-mail sent by [Jay] Mairs [who sent all of his company e-mails to a Gmail account, which was eventually infiltrated and was] the MediaDefender employee whose technical ineptitude was ultimately responsible for the leak. 'I was out of the office yesterday because my son stuck something up his nose and I had to take him to urgent care. I guess we know where he gets his smarts from ; )' The NBC Universal representative who received that e-mail replied sympathetically, 'Haha. I hope it wasn't a crayon.'" *
posted by ericb at 9:10 PM on September 16, 2007


TechnoLustLuddite, there's definitely some kind of attempt going on to link music piracy with child pornography:
David Benjamin (Universal Music employee): is there kiddie porn on newsgroups
Randy Schaaf (MediaDefender founder), to his staff: Without downloading, can anyone tell me if there is kiddie porn on news groups?
Schaaf, to Benjamin: There looks like there is a fair amount. Is this a play at ISP liability?
Benjamin: yes
source, edited for brevity by myself
Why am I not surprised that the major label execs appear to be functionally illiterate?
posted by enn at 9:23 PM on September 16, 2007


@uncanny hengeman: Well, now that i read that again, i think your first guess was right. I read it wrong. It was probably a "goatse" type of thing uploaded by someone who was just messing with MD...or with korn and slipknot fans =]
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 9:25 PM on September 16, 2007


Correction: Randy Saaf, not Schaaf.
posted by enn at 9:26 PM on September 16, 2007


I will never work for a company where one of my coworkers will need to inform me that I file is, in fact, a warthog fucking a woman instead of whatever it is purported to be. It wasn't worth it.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:27 PM on September 16, 2007


@enn: And then of course, there was that whole Pirate Bay being accused of hosting child porn thing...
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 9:30 PM on September 16, 2007


TechnoLustLuddite: Interestingly, MediaDefender had an interest in that too. Apparently it was hoping to find something there to pass on to its clients at the NY AG's office.
posted by enn at 9:39 PM on September 16, 2007


Funny. What's not so funny is the idea that p2p trackers go try out your account password against your submitted email account.

I always assume any site I sign-up for might do that, which is why I always keep my login password different from the email password. Yes, I am a paranoid sysadmin with 20 odd passwords.

That said, the maroon that got bitten probably signed up from a known media defender IP address range, thus getting some extra attention from whichever site they tried to infiltrate.
posted by ArkhanJG at 10:30 PM on September 16, 2007


Why am I not surprised that the major label execs appear to be functionally illiterate?

I'm not sure if missing a capital letter and a question mark qualifies the writer as functionally illiterate given the text in question comes from email, where the 'rules' often get badly bent.

It's certainly distasteful in a business context, but that's about all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:11 PM on September 16, 2007


I'm not sure if missing a capital letter and a question mark qualifies the writer as functionally illiterate given the text in question comes from email, where the 'rules' often get badly bent.

You're right. My characterization was definitely off the mark. Personally, I find mail like this, as you said, distasteful when coming from ostensible professionals; the one-word mail would particularly annoy me were I its recipient. But "illiterate" was not the right descriptor — I'm sure Mr. Benjamin is not ignorant of the convention of capitalizing and punctuating sentences. I suppose it's the laziness that irks me.
posted by enn at 11:55 PM on September 16, 2007


re: Puke & cry's post: Porn industry aims to destroy bittorrent, and bittorrent predicts that this quest will destroy the porn industry? Which will survive? Finally we'll know what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object! Watch out Salvation Army: what will you do with all those starving philosophers?
posted by Anything at 3:46 AM on September 17, 2007


We're entering an interesting time in our nation's history: a time when our military/police/security apparatus becomes a sort of glorified collection agency on behalf of our corporate aristocrats.

You're kidding, right? Who exactly did you think handled evictions, union-busting, etc, in the past?
posted by me & my monkey at 12:50 PM on September 17, 2007


m&mm beat me to it, even 2 days late ...

We're entering an interesting time in our nation's history: a time when our military/police/security apparatus becomes a sort of glorified collection agency on behalf of our corporate aristocrats.

It's always been the case, to some extent.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:44 PM on September 17, 2007


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